Viagra has new rivals

GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Bayer won US approval on Tuesday to sell Levitra, the first rival to the popular Viagra in the world's most profitable drug market.

    Levitra and Cialis will mean more potent choices

    The announcement, from the United States’ Food and Drug Administration, means that Levitra, an orange pill, will give men an alternative to Pfizer Inc's famous

    diamond-shaped blue pill Viagra, the drug that transformed treatment for erectile

    dysfunction

    after its 1998 debut as the first oral therapy for the condition.

       

    Another competitor, a pill called Cialis, may also hit the US market later this year.

     

    An estimated 30 million US men experience some level of erectile

    dysfunction.

       

    "We know, from considerable market research, that the market is ready for new options," said Lawson Macartney, head of strategic management of GlaxoSmithKline's cardiovascular, metabolic and urology drugs. 

     

    "We know, from considerable market research, that the market is ready for new options"

    Lawson Macartney, head of strategic management at GlaxoSmithKline

    Levitra, Viagra and Cialis all work by blocking an enzyme called PDE-5 which affects blood flow to the penis, but the potency, speed and duration of each drug are hotly disputed.

       

    Levitra's makers say a major plus is that it works quickly. Men taking Levitra can have an erection in 16 minutes, and any time after that, up to five hours later.

       

    Pfizer has responded with studies showing half of men taking Viagra were able to have sex within 20 minutes.

      

    Trials of Cialis, from Eli Lilly and Co and ICOS Corp , show it gives patients a window of up to 36 hours in which to have sex. The window is about four hours for

    most men taking Viagra.

       

    Levitra's most common side effects include headache, flushing and nasal congestion.

       

    The most common side effects from Viagra are headaches, flushing and stomach upset. 

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    There are a number of reasons why Beijing continues to back Maduro's government despite suffering financial losses.